Dr. Darryl Tippens is stepping down as provost of Pepperdine University and returning to ACU to fill a newly created position, University Distinguished Scholar of Faith, Learning and Literature.
“He will teach in English, his discipline, and he will also will serve in particular initiatives we have have,” said Dr. Robert Rhodes, provost of the university. “He will also, because of his experience as provost, serve as a senior advisor because we have several initiatives that he would have good experience with.”
Tippens is the first University Distinguished Scholar and will be on faculty in the English Department but will work directly with Rhodes as a senior advisor for academic initiatives. This position has been created to honor faculty whose work is recognized nationally and internationally within his or her discipline and across the landscape of Christian higher education.
“He would be perfectly utilized just as a distinguished scholar, but because of his administrative background, we’re trying to also utilize him in that area as well,” Rhodes said. “He won’t have administrative responsibility but he will have the consultant role.”
Prior to joining Pepperdine as provost in 2001, Tippens was the James W. Culp Distinguised Professor of English at ACU from 1987 to 2000.
Pepperdine announced that Tippens will retire July 31, 2014. He will officially start his new position at ACU on Aug. 1, 2014.
“We initially talked about this fall, but he had some things he wanted to finish up there. We’re not in a big rush so we postponed it and timed it out until he felt like he was done with his projects there,” Rhodes said.
Tippens’ dual role as scholar and consultant is externally funded by a group of financial supporters of the university called the ACU President’s Venture Council.
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, told ACU Today magazine that it will be a privilege to work with Tippens on different projects and initiatives.
His love for the church, for Christian higher education and ACU are well known. He is deeply respected by our faculty, staff and trustees, and I look forward to the teamwork he will contribute to our efforts in advancing Abilene Christian,” Schubert said.